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Students during a lesson


Subject Name Psychology
Outline of the subject:

Psychology encourages students to take a considered and empathetic view of the world. It involves the critical analysis of human behaviour as students assess theoretical explanations and scientific research studies.

Both the IB at Higher and Standard level are offered as well as the AQA (A) A level. Both courses introduce the Cognitive, Behavioural, Biological and Social perspectives of Psychology and students develop an understanding of how each explains human behaviour. Dysfunctional behaviour, its treatment and child development are also covered.

Studying Psychology develops students’ understanding of scientific principles which they have to be able to write about fluently in essays. Analysis of formal research methods and simple statistical data is also required. Learning in the Psychology classroom has many practical applications, and students find the skills and the material they cover during the course highly applicable to the “real world”.

Students are recommended to take their studies beyond the classroom by reading widely, accessing undergraduate resources via the Learning Platform and attending lectures given by the British Psychological Society. In 2018, 93% of students studying Psychology achieved grades 6/7.

Course Offerings

Course Title Qualifications Obtainable Awarding Body
Key Stage 4 Courses
Psychology GCSE AQA
Key Stage 5 Courses
Psychology A A Level AQA
Psychology IB IB
Year 7
Curriculum Content:
Year 8
Curriculum Content:
Year 9
Curriculum Content: In year 9 students study Unit 1: Making Sense of Other People; Memory (including the processes of encoding, storage and retrieval, and the factors that affect eye witness testimony).Non-verbal communication (including the functions of eye-contact, facial expressions, and body language).Development of personality (including the description of personality and personality disorders).Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination (including ways of reducing prejudice and discrimination).Research methods (including the statistical analysis of research findings).
Year 10
Curriculum Content: In Year 10 students study Unit 2: Understanding Other People; Learning (including the reinforcement of behaviour through rewards and punishments). Social influence (including explanations for conformity and obedience and why people intervene to help others) Sex and gender (including the development of a person’s sexual and gendered identity). Aggression (including how aggression is learned and ways to reduce aggression in people). Research methods (including the statistical analysis of research findings).
Year 11
Curriculum Content: This is the final year of the three year GCSE, students will review content from year 9 and 10 and develop their skills of evaluation.

Students will sit two examinations at the end of this year:

Unit 1: Making Sense of Other People- 50%

Unit 2: Understanding Other People- 50%

Year 12
Curriculum Content: A level

In Year 12 students will study Cognitive Psychology which involves the study of memory, Developmental Psychology which looks at child development, Research Methods which involves the study and evaluation of quantitative and qualitative research methods, Biological Psychology which focuses on stress, Individual Differences which considers abnormal behaviour and Social Psychology which specifically focuses on social influence.


Year 12 (Standard Level) students will study two core areas of Psychology; the Socio-cultural Approach and the Cognitive Approach as well as completing their Internal Assessment. Year 12 (Higher Level) students will study a higher level option which focuses on Relationships and a further unit which explores Research Methods.

Year 13
Curriculum Content: A level

In year 13 students will study Relationships, Forensic Psychology and Eating behaviour as part of the Topics in Psychology Paper. In addition, students will look at a range of issues, debates and approaches in Psychology by drawing on knowledge from throughout the course. There will also be some higher level Research Methods delivered in year 13.

Students will sit 3 examinations, each examination is 2 hours long and is worth 33.3% of the course.

In Year 13 (Standard Level) students will study a further core area of Psychology which is the Biological Approach and a standard level option which focuses on Abnormality. Year 13 (Higher Level) students will continue to study a higher level option which focuses on Research Methods.

Standard level students will take two examinations during Year 13: Paper 1: 2 Hours Paper 2: 1 Hour

Higher level students will take three examinations during Year 13: Paper 1: 2 Hours Paper 2: 2 Hours Paper 3: 1 Hour